10 things I changed in my day so I could be more efficient with my time as a mom
Before I had my first kid, everyone that knows me would tell you I was never late, I was always prepared, my house was always clean, I made yummy food, I was fit and healthy. Now that I am a mommy, I am none of those things. I feel like I am always in a state of chaos where I have to choose between spending time with my daughter or cleaning. Or I am choosing between sleep and working out.
I got to the point where I thought: “is this what the rest of my life is going to be?”. I decided I need to make some changes in my life to my habits and my expectations so I could feel less stressed and more organized. I personally feel that a less stressed me gives me room to be the best mom I can be. Lets jump in to my mom hacks I thought were worth sharing!
1. Write down your expectations, and then adjust them to be realistic
The first thing I did was write down everything I wanted to complete in a day. My list started off like this:
- Wake up at 5 am
- Get dressed
- Wake up baby
- get baby ready
- make breakfast
- work 40 + hours a week on my online business, but never when baby is awake
- play and learn with baby following all the trends I see on pinterest
- keep the house spotless
- make complex meals and snacks for baby and myself
I thought my list of a million things was realistic so I woke up the next day at 5 am and I tried to do everything on my list. My baby woke up right when I started my workout, I was ready for bed by lunch time, I never showered, and then my baby didn’t sleep that night.
So I had to reevaluate my list. I needed to prioritize my wish list of daily tasks and make sure I was not going to do too many things that would take away from being a present mother. I also didn’t want to make my list too simple because I know myself and I needed to push myself to take better care of myself so I could be a better mom. This is what my list evolved into
- Wake up at 6:30am
- Write in my jounral & Drink water
- Workout (something I enjoy like 30 min of yoga or a walk)
- Shower and get dressed in something that makes me feel awake and pretty
- Get baby up at spend time together
- During naps I work on my online businesses
- When baby is awake we play and learn, she helps me run errands and get my house tasks done
- After baby is alseep I tidy the home and get everything reset for the next day
- I then work on my computer while watching a show and I go to bed before 10pm so I can make sure I get 8+ hours of sleep
Mom hack: Start a journal
My tips for you is to start a journal! There are many potential benefits to starting a journal, including:
Mental health benefits: Writing in a journal can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and increase overall emotional well-being. Expressing your thoughts and feelings on paper can help you process difficult emotions and gain clarity on your thoughts.
Self-reflection: Journaling can help you reflect on your past experiences, behaviors, and habits. By reviewing what you’ve written, you may gain insights into patterns or habits that you want to change, as well as strengths you want to build on.
Increased creativity: Writing in a journal can help you tap into your creativity and generate new ideas. By allowing yourself to freely express your thoughts, you may discover new insights and perspectives that can help you solve problems or spark new ideas.
Improved memory and focus: Writing things down can help improve memory and cognitive function. By recording important events, ideas, or insights, you may be more likely to remember them in the future.
Personal growth: Journaling can be a powerful tool for personal growth and development. By setting goals, tracking progress, and reflecting on your experiences, you may be able to identify areas for growth and work towards becoming the person you want to be.
If you are new to journaling then you can get some fun guided prompt journals to help you learn how to get started. I have been writing in my journal almost every day since I was 8 years old, and I know it has changed my life and helps me focus and recent my thoughts. Every mommy needs a journal.
2. Choose a scheduling tool and method
There are many different ways to make a schedule, depending on your preferences and the purpose of the schedule. Here are some common approaches:
Time-block schedule: This involves dividing your day into blocks of time and assigning specific tasks or activities to each block. For example, you might block off 9am-10am for exercise, 10am-12pm for work, 12pm-1pm for lunch, and so on.
To-do list schedule: This involves creating a list of tasks or activities you need to accomplish for the day, and then assigning a specific time frame for each task. For example, you might list “respond to emails” from 9am-10am, “attend meeting” from 11am-12pm, and so on.
Priority schedule: This involves prioritizing your tasks or activities based on their level of importance or urgency, and then scheduling them accordingly. For example, you might prioritize a work project due tomorrow over cleaning your house, and schedule time accordingly.
Hybrid schedule: This involves combining elements of the above schedules to create a customized schedule that works best for you. For example, you might time-block your mornings for work tasks, then use a to-do list for your afternoon tasks and errands.
Regardless of the approach you take, it’s important to be realistic about the amount of time you have available and to build in breaks and downtime to avoid burnout. It is also to give yourself grace as a mom and know that even if you plan and schedule the best you can life with kids will be unpredictable and that is okay.
I use a priority schedule and time block schedule combo. I have my list of things I need to do in my day and have blocks of time that I can do things. If I have extra energy and extra time then I can add things to my day. Here is an example of a typical day for me.
- 6:30am to 7:30am: Mommy time (journal, shower, workout, whatever I need to get ready for the day)
- 7:30am – 10:00am: Baby wake window 1, eat, play, learn
- 10:00am-12:00pm: Nap 1, work on my computer
- 12:00pm-2:00pm: Baby wake window 2, eat play, learn, clean
- 2:00pm-3:30pm: Nap 2, work on my computer
- 3:30pm-8:00pm: Baby wake window 3, eat play learn, bed time routine
- 8:00pm-10:00pm: Mommy time & more work time
My first priority is being present with my daughter so I organize my day so that I am with her during her wake windows and save things like computer work for when she is asleep. I know that right now my baby takes 2 naps a day and I should schedule things like errands and play dates for her wake windows.
I am still anxious about leaving the house so I only plan 1 big event outside the house each day. Anymore than that and I will feel overwhelmed. If we go to the library one day then I will put off any other outings for another day if I can.
Mom hack: Write it down!
I would not be successful if I relied on my memory to keep me on schedule. I have to write everything down or else I will forget it. I personally love using the reminders widget on my iPhone. I have it set up on my home page so I can see my checklist of things I have to do and I can write things down right away.
I also love a visual of a beautiful calendar or schedule in my home. This way everyone in your household has the chance to see what is coming up. Also kids do pay attention. If they see you check the calendar they will catch on. Some other ways to track your schedule can be:
3. Get your house organized and decluttered one room at a time
How many moms feel like they spend all day cleaning, and that the house is actually never clean! This is how I feel all the time. I decided enough was enough and my house was going to get cleaned up and stay cleaned. Besides dishes and toys I would say that my house stays pretty clean. This is how I did it.
I made a list of every room and closet in my house. I made a list of everything in each of those rooms that needed to be cleaned and organized. Then every week I would tackle just one room on the list. This took me a couple months but by the end of it my whole house was organized, clean, and I had a realistic system on how I can keep things clean.
For some motivation and education on why having an organized home will help keep it clean for longer, you can ready this book called the Home Edit, or watch their awesome Netflix show.
Mom hack: how to do a deep clean
Getting your house organized and decluttered can feel overwhelming, but with some planning and effort, it is definitely achievable. Here are some steps to help you get started:
- Set a goal: Decide what areas of your home you want to organize and declutter, and set a goal for when you want to accomplish this. Be specific and realistic.
- Plan: Make a plan for how you will organize and declutter each area. Decide what items you want to keep, donate, or throw away. Consider if you need any storage containers or organizers to help keep things tidy.
- Start small: Begin with one small area, such as a drawer or closet, and work your way up to larger spaces. This will help you build momentum and stay motivated.
- Sort and purge: Go through each item in the area you are organizing and decide whether to keep, donate, or throw away. Be honest with yourself about what you truly need and use.
- Clean: Once you have decluttered the area, take the time to clean it thoroughly. This will help you feel more accomplished and motivated to tackle the next area.
- Maintain: Make a plan for how you will maintain the organization and decluttering in the future. Create a system for putting things away and make a habit of regularly going through your belongings to keep things organized.
4. Follow a (realistic) cleaning schedule
I got this idea from my sister in law and I think it is actually a genius tip. As a mom you realistically do not have the time to do a bunch of cleaning every day, and I doubt you want to be cleaning all day when you could be with your kiddos. Decide what a realistic cleaning schedule would look like for you, write it down on your kitchen calendar, and stick to it.
If everyday you say I just have to clean the house you will get burnt out and will be upset with yourself because you are falling short of your house goals. A cleaning schedule will help boost your mental health because you will feel accomplished in your goals and you will actually keep your house clean. Here is what I mean:
Step 1: make a list of chores that have to be done every day with no exceptions. For example:
- Dishes & Kitchen Counters
- Clean high chair
- Check Mail
- Pick up toys
- Take out trash can
Step 2: Make a list of chores that have to be every week. For example:
- Living Areas
- Meal prep
Then you are going to pick one weekly tasks to be done each day. For example on Mondays you will clean the kitchen and on Tuesdays you will clean the bathrooms. Then once a week you will pick a room that will get a deep clean. This way everyday you are on top of the most important tasks, you are keeping up with things as they get dirty, and you are staying ahead of rooms reverting back to unorganized messes.
Here is my free cleaning PDF Checklist that I actually use that you can make a copy of and make it your own. You can also buy several beautiful cleaning lists on Amazon.
5. Meal plan
A busy mom should consider meal planning because it can provide a number of benefits that can make her life easier and less stressful. Here are some reasons why meal planning can be helpful for busy moms:
Saves time: By planning out meals in advance, busy moms can save time by avoiding last-minute trips to the grocery store and by knowing exactly what they need to prepare each meal.
Saves money: Meal planning can also save money by reducing food waste and allowing busy moms to take advantage of sales and discounts at the grocery store.
Reduces stress: When busy moms have a plan for what they will be cooking and eating, it can reduce the stress of trying to figure out what to make for each meal.
Encourages healthier eating: By planning meals in advance, busy moms can ensure that they are providing healthy and nutritious meals for their families. This can help everyone stay on track with their health and wellness goals.
Allows for variety: Meal planning can also allow busy moms to introduce more variety into their family’s meals, as they can plan to try new recipes and ingredients.
For my household meal planning looks like me sitting down the day before I do a grocery order and I make a list of all the dinners I want to make this week. I pick 7 dinners that I will make and I put each dinner on a day, but I often switch things up depending on what we want to eat that day. This saves my brain energy and I save money because I am not just buying everything at the store, I only buy what I know I have on my schedule for the week. Then I have a list of 2-3 options for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Once I have my plan, I place my grocery order (see tip 7). Then after I have my groceries I will do a meal prep day.
6. Meal Prep and Use the Freezer
Dinner in my house is at 5pm every day. If I am late then all hell will break loose. I try to start making dinner everyday at 4:30pm, but some days that does not happen and my meal plan and meal prep is what saves me.
Meal prepping every week can be a great way to save time and stay on track with your healthy eating goals. Here are some steps you can follow to meal prep effectively:
- Plan your meals: Take some time to plan out your meals for the week. Decide what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. Make a grocery list of all the ingredients you need for the week.
- Shop for groceries: Once you have your grocery list, head to the grocery store and purchase all the items you need. Make sure to buy enough food to last for the entire week.
- Prep ingredients: Once you are back from the grocery store, start prepping your ingredients. Wash, chop, and cook any vegetables, fruits, and meats that you will need for your meals.
- Store your meals: Use meal prep containers to store your meals. You can store individual meals or divide larger portions into containers. Label each container with the contents and the date.
- Refrigerate or freeze: Depending on how long the meals will last, refrigerate or freeze them. Make sure to take out meals for the day the night before and place them in the refrigerator to thaw.
- Reheat and enjoy: When it’s time to eat, simply reheat your meal in the microwave or oven and enjoy!
Remember to keep your meals balanced with protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, and adjust your portions according to your individual needs. With a little bit of planning and preparation, meal prepping every week can help you save time, eat healthier, and stay on track with your nutrition goals.
Meal prep will also help you and your family eat healthier. Tell me, why would you choose to eat out vs make a healthy dinner at home? We always order food when I am feeling tired or I am running behind. We also reach for processed bars and snacks when my fridge is chaos. Having your meals scheduled out and your healthy snacks washed and put away in the fridge in clear containers will make eating them so much easier.
7. Order groceries
Pick a day for groceries and order your groceries the day before every single week. Everyone in your house will learn the schedule and you will feel on top of everything in your schedule when your kitchen and food are taken care of. In my house I make my meal plan and grocery list every Thursday. I will then put my grocery order in for pick up friday morning.
Ordering groceries can save both time and money in several ways:
Convenience: Ordering groceries online or using a grocery delivery service can save you time by eliminating the need to physically go to the store, find the items you need, and wait in line to pay. You can simply browse and select the items you need from the comfort of your own home, and have them delivered to your doorstep or pick up at the store.
Time savings: Online grocery shopping can also save you time by allowing you to quickly compare prices and find deals. Many grocery websites also allow you to save a shopping list, making it easy to reorder items you frequently buy.
Reduced impulse buying: Shopping online or using a delivery service can help you avoid impulse purchases, which can add up and quickly increase your grocery bill. When shopping in-person, it’s easy to be tempted by products that are not on your list or advertised deals that are not truly necessary.
Price comparisons: By shopping online, you can compare prices of different stores and choose the one that offers the best deals. Some grocery websites even offer exclusive online discounts or coupon codes.
Almost every store has this option now, one of the good things that has come from the pandemic. Find what is close to you and go with what fits your budget.
My Favorite Online Grocery stores:
Thrive Market is an online membership-based grocery store that sells healthy and organic products at discounted prices. The company was founded in 2014 with a mission to make healthy food more accessible and affordable for everyone. Thrive Market offers a wide range of products including organic foods, snacks, supplements, beauty and personal care products, cleaning supplies, and much more.
Thrive Market is different from traditional grocery stores because it operates on a membership model. Customers pay an annual fee to access discounted prices on all products. The company also offers free shipping on orders over a certain amount, and members can save even more by using Thrive Cash, a loyalty program that rewards customers with credit for future purchases.
One unique aspect of Thrive Market is its commitment to social responsibility. The company aims to create positive change by supporting sustainable farming practices, reducing food waste, and donating a portion of its profits to organizations that work to improve food access and nutrition education.
There are a few different ways to order groceries at Walmart:
- In-store pickup: Walmart offers a free pickup service that allows you to order groceries online and pick them up at a designated pickup location outside the store. You can place your order through the Walmart website or mobile app and choose a pickup time that works for you. Once you arrive at the store, you simply park in a designated pickup spot and a Walmart associate will bring your groceries to your car.
- Delivery: Walmart also offers delivery services for groceries. You can place your order through the Walmart website or mobile app and choose a delivery time that works for you. Depending on your location, you may be able to choose same-day or next-day delivery. Walmart offers both standard delivery and express delivery, which is faster but comes with an additional fee.
- Walmart+ membership: If you sign up for a Walmart+ membership, you can get free unlimited delivery on groceries and other select items. You can place your order through the Walmart website or mobile app and choose a delivery time that works for you. Walmart+ also offers free in-store pickup, fuel discounts, and other benefits.
Ordering groceries with Amazon is a convenient and easy process. Here are the steps to follow:
- Go to Amazon’s grocery page: Visit Amazon’s grocery page at www.amazon.com/grocery.
- Select your location: Enter your zip code to see if Amazon offers grocery delivery in your area. If it does, you’ll be directed to the Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market website.
- Sign up for Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market: If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to sign up for Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market in order to place an order.
- Browse available products: Once you’ve signed up and logged in, you can start browsing available products. You can search for specific items, browse categories, or look at curated collections.
- Add items to your cart: When you find an item you want to purchase, click “Add to Cart” to add it to your online shopping cart.
- Check out: When you’ve finished shopping, click “Cart” to review your order. Make sure everything looks correct, and then click “Proceed to Checkout” to complete your purchase.
- Select delivery options: Choose your delivery or pickup options and select your preferred delivery date and time.
- Complete your order: Review your order details, enter your payment information, and click “Place your order” to complete your purchase.
Once your order is placed, you can track its progress and receive updates on delivery or pickup status. Amazon also offers a subscription service for frequently purchased items, so you can receive regular deliveries of items you need on a regular basis.
Ritual Vitamins is a dietary supplement company that offers a line of multivitamins designed specifically for women, Men, and even kids. The company was founded in 2016 with a mission to provide people with high-quality, transparent, and effective nutritional supplements.
Ritual Vitamins multivitamins contain a carefully selected combination of nutrients that are essential for your health. The ingredients are sourced from high-quality suppliers and are tested for purity and potency. The company is also transparent about its sourcing and manufacturing processes, providing customers with detailed information about where each ingredient comes from and how it’s produced.
8. Stop thinking you have to wait for the kids to be asleep before you can do your important tasks
The truth about having kids is, they are the best thing to ever happen to your life. However, that does not mean it is not a challenge. I do not like to say that having a kid changed my life because I don’t want scare anyone away from having kids, but my life has changed since having my daughter.
One thing I had to do was shift my mindset. I am not trying to raise a kid, I am trying to provide my daughter with opportunities to grow into a well adjusted citizen of the world. To me this means I need to give her the chance to watch and help me clean, cook, work, exercise, play, fail, succeed. If she doesn’t learn it from me, then she will learn it from the cruel world.
Cleaning with kids is slow and actually feels like the opposite of cleaning, but how will they learn if they do not get to try? This is just a short season of our lives do not rush through it. Slow down and enjoy learning and growing with your kids.
That being said, sometimes things just have to get done. When I can I let my daughter do everything with me. Then when she is napping I get what I can done, and I do my best. When you change your mindset to “I am going to do what I can and that will be enough” you will save yourself so much heart ache. The hard truth is, you can only do what you can do with the time you have. The rest will have to wait. You may wait 5 years before your house is clean again, but it will not be like this forever. You won’t think about how messy your house used to be, but you will remember watching your daughter or son try to do the dishes or sweep the floor.
9. Simplify your life
This is your season of life to focus on doing the most important job in the world, being a mom!
Simplifying life can have a significant impact on a mom’s efficiency. Here are some ways that simplifying life can help a mom be more efficient:
Reduce decision fatigue: When there are too many options and decisions to make, it can become overwhelming and lead to decision fatigue. By simplifying life, a mom can reduce the number of decisions she needs to make, which can free up mental energy and improve focus and productivity.
Save time: Simplifying life can save time in various ways, such as by reducing clutter, simplifying routines, and eliminating unnecessary activities. This extra time can be used for more important tasks or for self-care, which can improve overall well-being and reduce stress.
Improve organization: Simplifying life can help a mom get organized, which can improve efficiency. By having a designated place for everything and keeping things tidy, it can be easier to find what’s needed quickly and avoid wasting time searching for misplaced items.
Prioritize what matters most: Simplifying life can help a mom focus on what matters most, whether it’s spending time with family, pursuing a career, or pursuing personal interests. By reducing distractions and focusing on priorities, a mom can use her time and energy more efficiently and effectively.
Overall, simplifying life can help a mom be more efficient by reducing decision fatigue, saving time, improving organization, and prioritizing what matters most. By focusing on what’s important and streamlining daily routines, a mom can improve productivity, reduce stress, and enjoy more time for herself and her family.
10. Look at your routine as a whole
Looking at a weekly schedule can be more helpful for a busy mom than focusing on a daily routine for several reasons:
Better perspective: Looking at a weekly schedule can provide a broader perspective of what needs to be accomplished during the week. This can help a mom prioritize tasks and manage her time more effectively.
Flexibility: A weekly schedule can provide more flexibility than a daily routine, allowing a mom to adjust her schedule as needed to accommodate unexpected events or changes in plans.
Long-term planning: A weekly schedule can help a mom plan for the longer term and work towards achieving her goals. It can also help her ensure that she is making time for important activities, such as self-care or spending time with family.
Avoid burnout: Focusing too much on a daily routine can be overwhelming and can contribute to burnout. By looking at a weekly schedule, a mom can spread out her tasks and responsibilities over several days, which can help her avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Improve efficiency: By looking at a weekly schedule, a mom can identify opportunities to consolidate tasks and errands, which can help her be more efficient with her time.
Remember to slow down and be present. Do not let the mom guilt win. You are doing your best and your best is all that your family needs. I always feel like when I am being a great mom I am being a bad wife or a bad women or bad at self-care.
If you can slow down and adjust your mindset, you will notice that you spend less time thinking of all the things you are not doing and you will focus more on all the things you are so grateful you had time to do.
You got this Mama! Comment bellow any mom time saving tips that you do that have saved you as you navigate the waters of being a mom.